‘Fair-Wage’ Pizza Shop Promoting ‘Economic Justice’ Forced to Close Doors, Lay Off Employees

Dudley Dough, a “fair-wage” pizza parlor dedicated to “economic justice” in Boston, has been forced to close its doors because it is unable to make enough profits, according to The Boston Globe.

“The challenge for Dudley Dough was to support itself,” said Bing Broderick, executive director for the nonprofit Haley House, which oversees the shop. After just two years of operation, the “fair-wage pizza shop” will close in the next few months. “While popular, the shop is not breaking even financially,” the report said.

Dudley Dough, in offering its employees above-market wages, was sold as “pizza with a purpose.” Although it had a noble business plan, offering higher-than-market wages along with the added expenses of culinary and leadership training put the pizza shop at a significant disadvantage with its competitors.

“Three other restaurants opened in the area around the same time as Dudley Dough and are still operating,” according to The Boston Globe. The irony is in Dudley Dough’s mission statement of “economic justice” for its employees who will no longer be employed. Not only will they no longer earn a fair wage, when the restaurant closes, they will no longer earn any wage at all. Moreover, the competing restaurants that watch their bottom line will continue to employ their staff at market wages. The situation exposes the ambiguity of the phrase “fair wage.”

“I don’t think anyone is looking at it as a failure,” said Luther Pinckney, team leader at Dudley Dough. But Pinckey’s statement contradicts those who relied on their jobs.

“I didn’t see it coming. I have to keep working. I’ve got my youngest son in private school,” said Dudley Dough employee Royce Terrell. “I like coming to work. It was kind of a shock.”

The pizzeria couldn’t remain profitable despite being given a $100,000 donation from Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, specifically for Dudley Dough.

“Despite the board’s decision, Broderick said, a ‘significant effort’ is being made to support the staff at the shop as they transition to new jobs,” The Boston Globe noted.

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